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Predicting the Steelers 53-man roster, by position: Running Backs

While other outlets are giving you just one bland prediction article, we’re taking it position-by-position as we make our way through the team’s 53-man roster.

NFL: New England Patriots at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

For those of you who read the headline to this article and rolled your eyes thinking “Here we go again with another 53-man roster prediction article” — think again.

Every outlet around the country is doing their own version of predicting who will, and won’t, make the Pittsburgh Steelers’ final roster after training camp. The preseason has officially ended, but I decided to go a bit more in-depth on the prediction side of things. Therefore, I decided to lead up to my first complete 53-man roster prediction by going position-by-position and deciding who makes the team and who doesn’t.

Today’s position: Running Backs/Fullbacks

Depth Chart/Roster:

Le’Veon Bell
James Conner
Jaylen Samuels
Fitzgerald Toussaint
Stevan Ridley
Jarvion Franklin
Roosevelt Nix
James Summers

Unlike the other positions I’ve covered in this series, while the majority of the depth chart is set in stone, the depth behind the starter is up for debate. No one really knows how many running backs the Steelers will keep, but I’ll take a stab at who will stick around and who will be looking for employment elsewhere.

This will certainly be something not decided until training camp/the preseason rolls around, but I have a feeling I know what the depth chart will look like, and how each player will fit into the team’s scheme when all is said and done, barring injury.

Top 3:

Le’Veon Bell — Enough said.

James Conner — Considering all the good things which have been said about him this offseason, I feel confident he will solidify the No. 2 spot this year.

Jaylen Samuels — Yes, I realize production at the college level doesn’t necessarily translate to the NFL, but what Samuels does, and does extremely well, is something the Steelers can use on their team. He won’t be used often, but could be a tremendous red-zone/short yardage specialist who can line up all over the field. I definitely see him making the team, and being among the Top-3 on the depth chart.

Depth Player(s)/Special Teamers:

Fitzgerald Toussaint — What Toussaint brings to the team which others don’t is a knowledge of the offense, experience and the ability to contribute on special teams. While Ridley and/or Franklin might be comparable as a runner, Toussaint’s versatility is what puts him on the team.


Roosevelt Nix — Just received a new, shiny contract this offseason. Continue to expect big things from “Rosie” in 2018.

Players to be Cut:

Stevan Ridley
James Summers
Jarvion Franklin (Will try to sign to the practice squad)

Roster Spots taken: 18/53

Next position: Cornerbacks

Past Articles:

Predicting the Starting Safeties
Predicting the Starting Inside Linebackers
Predicting the Starting Wide Receivers